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>> pelley: tonight, four american diplomats dead, three wounded. >> how could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? >> pelley: the u.s. ambassador to libya is among those killed. david martin reports it may have been a terrorist strike timed to 9/11. been a terrorist strike timed to 9/11. mitt romney adds controversy 9/11. mitt romney adds controversy with sharp criticism of u.s. foreign policy. jan crawford asks the governor about that. president obama's first interview since the you said in your acceptance speech that you are mindful of your own failings. >> yeah. >> pelley: what are they? and jim axelrod walks on a river run dry as the nation struggles with a historic drought. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening.
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there is developing evidence tonight that suggests that the killing of four american diplomats in libya may have been a terrorist attack, not the mob violence that was first suspected. u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three members of his staff were killed overnight in the fiery wreckage of the u.s. consulate in the city of benghazi. it happened after hundreds of people converged on the consulate to protest a little- known internet film that ridicules islam. the film was produced in the united states. it was just a year ago that the u.s. helped overthrow libya's dictator moammar qaddafi and christopher stevens was one of the americans on the ground then helping the rebels to victory. we have a team of correspondents we have a team of correspondents on this story and we will go first to david martin who's been talking to his sources at the pentagon. david? >> reporter: good evening,
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scott. u.s. officials say this was not an out-of-control demonstration, but a well-executed attack by a well-armed band of extremist. officials suspect the attackers where either linked to or sympathized with al qaeda and that they took advantage of a demonstration against that anti- muslim film to launch their assault on the anniversary of 9/11. american ambassador chris stevens and information manager sean smith were in the main building when the attack, which turned into a four-hour gun battle, began. smith was killed. smoke and flames drove others from the building. stevens went missing and his body wasn't found until the battle was over. after he was somehow transported to a libyan hospital. u.s. officials still don't know whether he was shot to death or suffocated in the smoke. two other americans were killed in another building. stevens had his own bodyguards and the consulate itself was protected by american and libyan security forces.
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but there were no u.s. marines, who often serve as guards as diplomatic outposts, at the consulate which is located in a residential neighborhood and was a temporary facility not built to withstand terrorist attacks. after the attack, an elite antiterrorist unit of about 40 marines was flown in to beef up security at the american embassy in the capital of tripoli. air force transport planes flew the bodies of the dead americans out, along with at least three who were injured and the rest of the approximately 25 diplomats assigned to the consulate. at the same time, the state department urged all nonessential personnel to leave on commercial flights. the f.b.i. has opened an investigation and is sending agents to sift through the wreckage for evidence. and at the same time the u.s. is increasing its surveillance over libya, including the use of those unmanned drones. in addition, scott, the navy is positioning two destroyers armed with cruise missiles off the
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coast of libya. bottom line: this is a terrorist hunt. >> pelley: david, thank you. this is the first time a u.s. ambassador has died in the line of duty in more than 30 years. at the white house this morning, the president said this. >> the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. and make no mistake, we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. >> pelley: christopher stevens is only the sixth u.s. ambassador in american history to be killed by terrorists. it was a shock at the state department where secretary of state hillary clinton spoke earlier. >> today many americans are asking-- indeed, i asked myself- - how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?
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let me be clear: there is no justification for this. none. violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith and as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of god, the world will never know a true and lasting peace. >> pelley: the state department has a tradition of honoring fallen u.s. diplomats by etching their names in marble at headquarters in washington. 236 names are on that wall. four will be added now. when stevens was appointed ambassador just this summer the embassy posted a video so that he could introduce himself to libya. >> my name is chris stevens and i'm the new u.s. ambassador to libya.
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>> pelley: stevens was 52. he first went to the middle east as a young volunteer with the peace corps. >> i worked as an english teacher in the a town in the high atlas mountains in morocco for two years and quickly grew to love this part of the world. since joining the foreign service i've spent almost my entire career in the middle east and north africa. >> pelley: in the early days of libya's revolution, stevens arrived in benghazi by cargo ship to meet with the rebels who would overthrow moammar qaddafi. secretary of state clinton said that he risked his life to stop a tyrant then gave his life to build a better libya. also killed was sean smith, an air force veteran. he spent ten years in the state department as an information management officer. he served all over the world and was in libya on temporary assignment. the state department won't say who the two other victims are until their families have been notified. that internet film that ridicules the muslim faith also
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touched off a protest at the u.s. embassy in cairo, egypt. protesters got inside the embassy grounds, but no americans were hurt there. holly williams is in cairo with that part of the story. holly? >> pelley: we've just watched the egyptian riot police move in and push protesters away from the u.s. embassy here in cairo. some of them threw stones at the police and they then responded by firing tear gas canisters into the crowd. but the egyptian authorities seemed to be saying their tolerance for these demonstrations is limited. for the second night in a row, the crowd vented its anger outside the u.s. embassy. the protests began yesterday when thousands of conservative muslims marched on the compound, furious about a film they believe mock it is prophet mohammed, the worst insult in the islamic religion. a group of demonstrators scaled the embassy wall and succeeded in pulling down the american
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flag, tearing it to shreds and then setting it on fire. it was replaced briefly with the black flag favored by islamic militants. as egyptian riot police stood by and watched, the protests continued late into the night. producing that film will do you no good, they chanted. we will chop off your hands. anti-american outrage that sparked fresh demonstrations in cairo and around the muslim world. >> pelley: holly, friday is the muslim sabbath and more protests are planned. is there an indication that the egyptian government is going to let them go ahead? >> reporter: well, the egyptian government is in a very difficult situation. on the one hand, egypt is an american ally and these protests don't do that relationship any good, which could be one reason why we've seen the riot police move in this evening. on the other hand, the egyptian president mohammed pho *rssy draws his support from
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conservative muslims and that could be why he joined them in condemning the film that sparked these protests. >> pelley: holly, thank you very much. we wanted to know more about the film that's so angered muslims so we asked bill whitaker in los angeles to look into that. bill? >> reporter: scott, it would be generous to describe this movie as "amateurish." it depicts the prophet mohammed as a buffoon in sexually suggestive situations. we've decided not to show the film clips. many might find it deeply insulting. now, the trailer for "innocence of muslims" sat almost unnoticed among youtube's english-language videos for more than two months. it attracted little attention from july 1, the day it was uploaded, until september 8. on that day an egyptian talk show host known for his unyielding defense of radical islam and his inflammatory rhetoric ran arabic language clips of the film. they have now gone viral throughout the middle east. the filmmaker has been identified by people associated with the movie as sam bacile, an israeli living in california.
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cbs news and other news organizations can find no record of him. >> number one, he's not israeli. number two, his real name is not sam. i don't know his real name. >> reporter: steve klein was a consultant on the film. he describes himself as a christian activist and an outspoken critic of radical islam. >> i could not have done a better job than what i have done to point out to the people of the world and the vast majority of the muslims just how dangerous these people are. >> reporter: he has no regrets for the violence the film triggered. >> people have asked me-- do i have blood on my hands? no, i don't. the blood's on their hands, not mine. >> reporter: mr. klein says the film's backers are christians, jews and muslims from the middle east who have moved to the west. meanwhile, scott, youtube has pulled the film clips from egypt and libya. >> pelley: bill, thanks. the protest at the u.s. embassy in cairo that holly just told us
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about touched off a sharp escalation in campaign rhetoric in this country. mitt romney accused the obama administration of sympathizing with the protesters. here's what he was referring to. before the protesters hit the embassy in cairo, the embassy said this about that internet movie. after the protesters breached the wall, the embassy said it stood by its statement. that, romney said today, made matters worse because the embassy didn't condemn the protest. democrats said the governor had injected politics into a tragedy. here's chief political correspondent jan crawford. jan? >> reporter: well, scott, romney called the administration's response "disgraceful" and today he kept up the criticism and he deflected questions that he was speaking out too soon. >> i don't think we... um, we ever hesitate when we see
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something which is a violation of our principles. we express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of america. >> reporter: do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded overnight was appropriate? to be weighing in on this as this crisis is unfolding in realtime? >> the white house also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflecting of their views. i had the exact same reaction. these views were inappropriate, they were the wrong course to take. >> reporter: what did the white house do wrong, then, governor romney, if they have... if they put out a statement saying they disagreed with it? >> it's their administration. the president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but the words that come from his ambassadors. the statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation.
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>> it's also important for me-- just as it was for the white house last night, by the way-- to say that the statements were inappropriate. and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for american values. >> reporter: now, romney also said the president demonstrated a lack of clarity on foreign policy. those are tough words, scott, and many democrats-- including some in his own party-- said he probably should have waited at least a day or two but a senior advisor told me this afternoon that romney will not hesitate to call out what he sees as failures in the president's foreign policy. >> pelley: jan, thank you. president obama sat down earlier today for an interview with "60 minutes." steve kroft asked him about the romney criticism. >> there's a broader lesson to be learned here and, you know, governor romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. and as president one of the things i've learned is you can't do that.
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that it's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them. >> do you think it was irresponsible? >> i'll let the american people judge that. >> pelley: a little later, the president passes judgment on his own first term in a cbs interview. the worst outbreak of west nile virus may be over. and what's a farmer to do when the river runs dry when the "cbs evening news" continues. uç reflux disease. osteoporosis-related bone fractures and low magnesium levels have been seen with nexium. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. talk to your doctor about nexium.
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for relief from tough headaches. >> pelley: the government said today the outbreak of west nile virus may have peaked. it may go down as the worst on record. mosquitos have spread the virus to all of the lower 48 states. more than 2600 cases have now been reported-- that's up 35% from last week and 118 people have died. hot, dry conditions are providing a breeding ground for mosquitos, and that's just one of the problems being caused by this drought. jim axelrod has been telling us about the drought's impact along the arkansas river. he began last night at the river's source in colorado and tonight jim follows the river and the story into kansas. >> i'd say the drought's got to be the worst. it affects everything. >> reporter: this fishing hole looked quite different when randy hazlett stocked it with bass, last may.
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>> this spring i put a load in. >> reporter: you put fish in at the end of the ramp this spring and they went right into the water? >> yes, i did. it's dropped that much this year. >> reporter: that much is a drop of four feet in four months. hazlett is a corn and soybean farmer in lakin, kansas. he depends on water diverted from the arkansas river to supply and irrigate 2,000 acres. how's a farmer supposed to do his business when you're down that much water? >> it makes it much harder. it costs a lot more money to pump the water from the ground and we just lose our water. we don't have the water to use. >> reporter: here in kansas, they call it the arkansas river. never mind the pronunciation, this year they can't call this a river at all. where are we walking right now? >> you're in the bed of the arkansas river. right smack in the middle of it. >> reporter: it hasn't been this bad in kansas in 65 years. 200 miles of the arkansas riverbed look like this.
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if we're doing a 1-10-- 1 being the best, 10 being the worst drought condition you could imagine-- what what's this part of kansas right now? >> 12, probably. it's bad. >> reporter: less than seven inches of rain has fallen here all year-- a third of what they get in a normal year. the flat terrain in kansas provides few places for large amounts of water to collect so farmers rely on gates like this one to divert water from the arkansas river to their fields. >> it's plenty dry. >> reporter: no water to divert? >> no water to divert. not a drop. >> reporter: hazlett can't grow feed for his cows. he's got to buy it at a cost of $1,000 a week. his corn profits have been cut in half. now he may have to drill a new water well. how much is that going to cost? >> we're probably looking $60,000, $70,000 to redrill. >> reporter: in this part of kansas, it's not just the arkansas river that's being
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drained dry. jim axelrod, cbs news, lakin, kansas. >> pelley: in a moment president obama reflects on his first term. >> what i've learned as president is... clusters of pustules, pimples. i had this shingle rash right next to my spine. the soreness was excruciating. it was impossible to even think about dancing. when you're dancing, your partner is holding you. so, his hand would have been right in the spot
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the government figures a family of four is in poverty if it makes less than $23,000. no president since f.d.r. has been reelected within an economy this troubled. when president obama accepted his nomination last week he said that he was mindful of his own failings. we asked him about that in his first interview since the speech. you said in your acceptance speech that you are mindful of your own failings. >> yeah. >> pelley: what are they? >> well, i think michelle could give you a much longer list. >> pelley: what is it about the work that you've done as president of the united states that you are not satisfied with that you had in mind when you wrote the words "mindful of my own failings?" >> you know, i am very proud of the work that we did to save the auto industry, the fact that we've created 4.6 million new jobs, half a million in manufacturing. the housing market has taken a
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very long time to come back. and we put forward programs initially in the first year that we thought would get more take-up, they didn't move as fast as they could have. and so in the second year we got more aggressive, fine-tuned it. i think we're starting to see a lot more progress on that front. but that's an example-- one of several-- in which you try something, it doesn't work, and then you try something again. and the point i wanted to make in the convention speech is that part of what makes america great, part of what makes our democracy great is we're willing to try stuff and if they don't... if it doesn't work then we fine-tune it, we learn from our mistakes, and what i've learned as president is that the most important thing is knowing where you want to go, what's the
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north star that is guiding you. in my case that north star is how do i make sure that every family that's willing to work hard out here can make it. >> pelley: and we'll be back in just a moment. baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner. thatwhy let constipation stry miralax.? mirlax works differently than other laxatives. it draws water into your colon to unblock your system naturally. don't wait to feel great. miralax. begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye.
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>> updating the top story, protest continue in cairo against an anti muslim movie, the same movie that led to an attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. at least 40 marines are being sent to libya to beef up security at u.s. diplomatic facilities. after the ambassador and three other americans were killed, the navy is positioning destroyers armed with cruise missiles off the coast of libya. and that is the cbs evening news for tonight, for all of us at cbs news, all around the world, good night. >> good evening i am ken bastida. >> i am dana king, the u.s. is
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ramping up embassy security around the world after a deadly attack on american diplomats in libya. >> there is growing suspicion tonight that it was a planned terror strike meant to mark the anniversary of 9/11. four diplomats killed when an angry mob stormed the u.s. consulate overnight. armed with guns and rocket- propelled grenades, among them, a bay area native and u.s. ambassador to libya christopher stephens. officials confirmed that it was killed while trying to save his own staff. ann noterangelo begins team coverage from his home town of piedmont. >> and, chris stevens attended piedmont high school in the 1970's and even though we traveled around the world, he considered the bay area his home. >> my name is chris stevens and i am a new u.s. ambassador to libya. >> he was a charismatic leader, among the first americ

CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley
CBS September 12, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. Scott Pelley. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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